Other people’s closets. As soon as I was tall enough to reach those clothes off the hangers, I was benefitting from OPC’s in my own house growing up. No closet was safe. One particular outfit in the mid 80’s involved my own new wave short boots, my mom’s mid calf electric blue wool pleated skirt, my dad’s homemade sixties’ deep red Hawaiian shirt tucked in. A wooden animal African necklace topped it. Where are those pictures? How I love camera phones. But yes, even my brother let me borrow from his closet. I would brood over 1950’s photos of my mom in her presence and exclaim, “Why isn’t THIS dress still in your closet? Why?” See, I wanted to borrow things that weren’t even there any more. A common good dream that I have is about other people’s closets. Yes, it’s true. I can wake up so happy because I have had one. Trying on clothes in some amazing closet… but, of course in my dream, I get to keep everything.
And the tradition continues… I borrowed a couple of jackets from my younger son so many times that now they just stayed with my stuff. The truth is, we fought over them in the thrift store and he “won”. I think the same is going to happen the other way around with the brown corduroy jacket above.
And now, I feel like making a list. My favorite ways to acquire clothes are the following:
1. Gifts. Especially gifts that were bought in other country’s outdoor markets. Countries that have cobblestone streets. And especially gifts that I asked for telepathically about two days before. For example, I’m walking along and suddenly realize I NEED a jumpsuit, and then one is handed to me straight from Paris two days later. The scarf pictured above also came from someone else’s trip to Italy, and I NEEDED it.
2. Other people’s closets. Of course. My favorite OPC story is relative to the boots above. I have three pairs of boots that came to me at once. I get asked about a couple of them all the time, and I love saying, “These came from Holly’s sister’s jet setter friend’s closet in San Francisco.” I love saying that. And you know I think about boots ALL the time, so that was super telepathic.
3. Thrift stores. Why, oh why are clothes better at a thrift store than at a regular store? Is it just the price or the eco friendliness of it? It can’t be. Well, at a regular store you run the risk of getting what everyone else is getting right now. Thrift store items are called “finds” for a reason. They are unique and secret. Then, we have the vintage aspect. I rest my case.
4. Homemade. I walk around dreaming about clothes I would wear if I had time to design and make them. One time, for my birthday I asked for childcare when the kids were little so I could just make myself a skirt and matching bag. It’s really fun! Also, there is a lot of love in it, you get to go to the FABRIC STORE, and it’s really fun. I know I said that twice.
5. Sales. Crazy sales. Sale on top of one day only half off sale at some store like Patagonia at the Santa Cruz outlet sale. Betsy Johnson way out in the desert special trip sale. Paris streets in August sale when no one else is there for competition sale. Oh, spontaneous day trip to Santa Barbara boot store closing down sale. The best are surprise sale at the cash register of just what you always wanted sale.
And on top of everything, look how eco-friendly this whole Clothes Story is. Think before consuming or throwing something away. There is no “away”, anyway. How about if you re-gifted something wonderful you got from someone else’s closet, that they got on sale, and that you just customized with some exquisite homemade touches. That would be a real Clothes Story with chapters and everything.
On Laura: Moda dress& leggings, Italian scarf & boots, jacket by Salt and Pepper. On the boy: Homemade cape (fabric from Joanne’s Fabrics), jacket by Salt and Pepper
Photos of Laura by Aristotle.